This year, Democrats have been upset with Silver’s predictions that Republicans are likely to retake the Senate. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) mocked Silver at a fundraising luncheon in Seattle that was also addressed by Vice President Biden, according to a White House pool report on Thursday.
More generally, Democratic strategist Brent Budowsky, a columnist for The Hill, recently wrote that, “There are so many razor-thin Senate races that confident predictions of which party holds Senate control are, to paraphrase a line from Jack Nicholson in ‘Chinatown’, wind from a duck’s derriere.”
“Polling has become politicized like everything else in the current environment,” said Tobe Berkovitz, a Boston University professor who specializes in political communication. “The press has become more politicized, the reporting itself has become more politicized and so it is to be expected that polling is politicized.”
Even President Clinton has suggested that the pollsters are getting it wrong, both in terms of the likely results and the assumptions that their projections are based upon.